YouTube’s latest censorship push raises concerns over social accountability


While much of the internet is currently grappling with how best to prevent extreme online viewpoints from manifesting real-life extremism, many are missing one of the most important points to be made.

Simply put, the type of censorship that YouTube is ready to roll out does a disservice to the entire world.

YouTube said Wednesday that the platform will begin banning videos promoting Nazi ideology as well as those denying “well-documented violent events” such as the Holocaust or the Sandy Hook massacre.

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“Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status,” the company wrote in a blog post.

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The company noted that “it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up.”

The video platform has been under pressure from experts and watchdog groups for years to address its role in hosting and spreading hateful content, as researchers showed that its algorithmtended to drag users from mainstream videos toward extremist political content through the use of its autoplay feature and recommendation system.

And while it is easy to put support behind the idea of ridding the world of Nazis and inflammatory-for-the-sake-of-attention conspiracy theorists, this is precisely the wrong way to go about it.  This is sweeping the plague-carrying rat under the proverbial rug.

Extremism flourishes in the shadows, and by forcing these dimwitted hate mongers to move their ideas deep underground, we are giving them an opportunity to enter a cocoon of sorts.  When they emerge again, they will be unrecognizable to Americans, and, as such, will be able to discreetly infiltrate the collective mind of the youth.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant for these ideologies, and YouTube has just drawn the blinds closed on an entire generation.

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